What Language Do Belgium Speak?


What Language Do Belgium Speak

What language is mostly spoken in Belgium?

Dutch – Dutch is the most spoken primary language of Belgium and the official language of the Flemish Community and the Flemish Region (merged to Flanders ). Along with French, it is an official language of the Brussels-Capital Region, The main Dutch dialects spoken in Belgium are Brabantian, West Flemish, East Flemish, and Limburgish,

All these are spoken across the border in the Netherlands as well, and West Flemish is also spoken in French Flanders, Much like English, Flemish dialects have adopted more French and other Romance vocabulary through mutual cultural exchange throughout history when compared with other Dutch dialects.

As such, they are not always readily intelligible for Dutch speakers outside Flanders. Nevertheless, linguists regard these as varieties of Dutch. Words which are unique to Belgian Dutch are called belgicisms (as are words used primarily in Belgian French ).

Is Belgium a Dutch language?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Dutch language used in Belgium can also be referred to as Flemish Dutch or Belgian Dutch ( Dutch : Vlaams Nederlands, Belgisch Nederlands ). Dutch is the mother tongue of about 60% of the population in Belgium, spoken by approximately 6.5 million out of a population of 11 million people.

It is the only official language in Flanders, that is to say the provinces of Antwerp, Flemish Brabant, Limburg, and East Flanders and West Flanders, Alongside French, it is also an official language of Brussels, However, in the Brussels Capital Region and in the adjacent Flemish-Brabant municipalities, Dutch has been largely displaced by French as an everyday language.

Belgian Dutch differs from Standard Dutch in terms of accent and vocabulary. The most spoken Dutch dialects in Belgium are West Flemish, East Flemish, Brabantian and Limburgish, Although the Brabant dialect has historically been associated with working-class areas of Brussels, in particular the Marolles, the virtual disappearance of those populations means that linguistic variants in which an influence of the Brabant can be discerned exist in a diminishing degree.

Does Belgium speak French or Dutch?

Ok, let’s make it clear right from the start: there’s no ‘Belgian’ language. Neither is there a “Belgium language”. Why? Because Belgium has not one, but three official languages:

  1. Dutch (Flemish);
  2. French;
  3. German.

Most people already know that Dutch and French are spoken in Belgium, but German is not as popular. While Dutch and French are spoken by almost 100% of Belgians, German only counts for roughly 1% of the entire population. However, in addition to these three official languages, some Belgians also speak Luxembourgish, Limburgish, Walloon and many others.

Is Belgium English or Dutch?

Dutch (Flemish) – Dutch is the official language of the Flanders region and one of the official languages of the Brussels-Capital Region, ” Roughly, 60% of Belgians speak Dutch as their first language. ” Even though standard Dutch is the official language, the majority of the Flemish community speaks the Flemish dialect.

  • That’s right, Dutch in the Netherlands and ‘Flemish’ aren’t exactly the same.
  • Generally, Dutch and Belgian can understand each other, even though there’re certain differences in pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and idioms,
  • These differences are amplified by the sub-dialects in the Flanders region.

Depending on where you’re, you can expect to hear Brabantian, East Flemish, West Flemish and Limburgish.

Is Flemish the same as Dutch?

How did the Dutch language develop? – Dutch language, also called Netherlandic or Dutch Nederlands, in Belgium called Flemish or Flemish Vlaams, a West Germanic language that is the national language of the Netherlands and, with French and German, one of the three official languages of Belgium,

Although speakers of English usually call the language of the Netherlands “Dutch” and the language of Belgium “Flemish,” they are actually the same language. Dutch, which occurs in both standard and dialectal forms, is the language of most of the Netherlands, of northern Belgium, and of a relatively small part of France along the North Sea immediately to the west of Belgium.

Dutch is also used as the language of administration in Suriname and on the islands of Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Aruba, Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius, which together once made up an entity called Netherlands Antilles, Afrikaans, which is a derivative of Dutch, is one of the official languages of South Africa, What Language Do Belgium Speak Britannica Quiz Languages & Alphabets In the Middle Ages the language was called Dietsc, or Duutsc, historically equivalent to German Deutsch and meaning simply “language of the people,” as contrasted with Latin, which was the language of religion and learning.

  • The form Duutsc was borrowed into English and gives modern “Dutch.” The official name of the language is Nederlands, or Netherlandic.
  • In the Netherlands it is also called Hollands (Hollandish), reflecting the fact that the standard language is based largely on the dialect of the old province of Holland (now North Holland and South Holland).

The spoken language exists in a great many varieties. Standard Dutch (Standaardnederlands or Algemeen Nederlands) is used for public and official purposes, including instruction in schools and universities. A wide variety of local dialects are used in informal situations, such as among family, friends, and others from the same village (these exist in far more variety than does the English of North America).

Standard Dutch is characterized grammatically by the loss of case endings in the noun. In Belgium efforts were made to give Dutch equal status with French, which had assumed cultural predominance during the period of French rule (1795–1814). In 1938 Dutch was made the sole official language of the northern part of Belgium.

The use of Standard Dutch together with the local dialect is much more widespread among the people of the Netherlands than it is in Belgium. The dialects of the area bounded roughly by Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam are closer to Standard Dutch than are those of the other dialect areas. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now Together with English, Frisian, German, and Luxembourgish, Dutch is a West Germanic language. It derives from Low Franconian, the speech of the Western Franks, which was restructured through contact with speakers of North Sea Germanic along the coast (Flanders, Holland) about 700 ce,

Can I speak English in Brussels?

The capital region of Brussels is bilingual, so Belgians normally speak French and Flemish fluently. Normally locals also speak English.

What is Belgium called in Dutch?


Kingdom of Belgium Koninkrijk België (Dutch) Royaume de Belgique (French) Königreich Belgien (German)
Capital Brussels 50°51′N 4°21′E
Largest city Antwerp
Official languages Dutch French German
Ethnic groups (2022) 66.6% Belgians 33.4% other

Are you Dutch if you live in Belgium?

Language regions in Belgium – Belgium is divided into three regions: Flanders in the north, the Brussels-Capital Region in the middle, and Wallonia in the south. To make matters a little more confusing, the Flemish speak Dutch but do not consider themselves Dutch, and the Walloons speak French but do not consider themselves French. What Language Do Belgium Speak Antwerp at night. Photo credit: iStock

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Are Dutch and Belgian similar?

The Netherlands vs. Belgium – Differences between Dutch in The Netherlands and in Belgium – It is not only in the Netherlands that Dutch is the official language. There are other countries where they speak Dutch, for example in Suriname. But Dutch is also an official language nearer to the Netherlands, in Belgium. So you might be learning Dutch because you’re moving to Antwerp or Gent.

  1. But what are the differences between Dutch in The Netherlands and in Belgium? Let’s start with where in Belgium they speak Dutch They speak Dutch in Flanders Dutch is an official language in Belgium, but it’s not spoken throughout the whole country.
  2. Dutch is mainly spoken in Flanders (Vlaanderen), the Dutch speaking part of Belgium.

The ‘Belgian Dutch’ is called Flemish (Vlaams). The good news is that the grammar in both countries is exactly the same and in general vocabulary is comparable. And you will absolutely not have any problem, if you learnt Dutch in one country using it in the other.

You can compare it to UK English and US English. The differences between the languages in the two countries have to do with the pronunciation, cultural differences and certain vocabulary. Let’s start with the differences between Dutch and Flemish pronunciation. Differences in pronunciation between Dutch and Flemish First, let’s start with saying that there is not one specific correct way of pronunciation in Dutch.

There are a lot of different accents and ways of pronunciation. But if you look at the two languages, there is a difference in the sound. The Dutch are known for pronouncing this as a strong sound. In Flanders this is voiced and pronounced softer. Also the intonation of Flanders can be typified as more melodic than in the Netherlands.

  • In general, Dutch people speak in a more staccato way, while Flemish people speak more ‘softly’.
  • When you start learning Dutch you might not hear the differences in the pronunciation.
  • This is not a bad thing! In the end you are trying to understand Dutch, and the language is the same.
  • Cultural differences between Flemish and Dutch According to Belgian people, one of the stereotypes of the Dutch is that they are direct and rude.

You can find this difference in the usage of ‘jij’/’je’ and ‘u’. If you are learning Dutch you might know that there are two ways of saying ‘you’: je/jij or u. U is considered pretty formal in the Netherlands. And the word is increasingly only used in very formal settings or when being very respectful.

You only use this when you want to be really polite in the Netherlands. In Flanders, however, the use of “u” is broader and it can also be informal. And also, whereas in the Netherlands “je” and “jij” are used, in Flemish they usually say “ge” and “gij”. The word “gij” is only used in the context of old texts in the Netherlands, analogous to the English word “thou”.

But in Belgium it is a full substitute for “je” and “jij”. Also, “ge” and “gij” in Flanders are completely informal and thus are never a polite form. The last big difference between the languages in the two countries is vocabulary. Differences in vocabulary In general, Flemish people understand Dutch people without any problems.

  1. But sometimes, there will be some confusion about certain words.
  2. For example: “Plezant” is what we in the Netherlands call “leuk” (fun) whilst the Flemish word is, of course, very similar to the English “pleasant”.
  3. Or for debit card, in Dutch we say “pinpas”, while in Flanders it is normal to say the word “bankkaart”.

More information about Dutch and Flemish Studio / Studeo is a course for students who are learning Dutch. In this course I talk, together with Tom, about the differences between the Netherlands and Belgium. We also talk about the differences in the usage of the Dutch language. What Language Do Belgium Speak Bart de Pau online Dutch teacher & founder of the Dutch Summer School & Dutch Winter School

What parts of Belgium speak Dutch?

Flemish (Dutch) – First off, there’s the Dutch-speaking Flemish community mostly found in the northern region of Flanders. They comprise about 60 percent (6.5 million) of the population. The language this community speaks, while largely identical to the Dutch spoken in the Netherlands, is called “Belgian-Dutch” by academics and “Flemish” by everyone else.

Is Belgium more French or more Dutch?

Belgium is famed for being the beating heart of the European Union, while foodies also flock there to enjoy its chocolate, waffles, beer and more. But which language is spoken by the majority of belgium? And why is it so easy to offend someone by speaking the ‘wrong’ language in Belgium? Read on to find out! Belgium is nestled between France, Germany and the Netherlands, in Western Europe.

  • Covering around 30,000 square kilometres, it is a relatively small country and also one of the most densely populated on the continent.
  • The influences of Belgium’s neighbouring countries are inextricably intertwined with its history, as well as with its languages.
  • In fact, Belgium doesn’t have a single ‘Belgian’ language, but rather three official languages: Flemish Dutch, French and German.

Do they speak french in Belgium? Almost all of Belgium’s 12 million residents speak one or more of these languages, while some 38-55% of the population (estimates vary) also speak English as a second language (or in some cases, third or fourth). Belgian speakers of Flemish Dutch, French and German can be fiercely loyal to their native tongue, as we explore in more detail below.

  1. What is the language spoken in Flanders? Flemish-Dutch is the most spoken of the three languages, with around 59% of the population speaking this as their primary language.
  2. French is spoken by around 40% of Belgians as their primary tongue, while just 1% of the population speaks German as their first language.

Many Belgians also speak one or more second languages.16% speak Flemish Dutch as a second language, 49% speak French and 22% speak German. In fact, Belgium is well ahead of many EU countries when it comes to the multilingual abilities of its residents.

Are people born in Belgium Dutch?

Belgians and Dutch The group of Belgians in the Netherlands consists of people born in Belgium with at least one Belgian parent (first generation Belgians). The Dutch people in Belgium are people born in the Netherlands with at least one parent born in the Netherlands (first generation Dutch).

The figures on Belgians in the Netherlands are calculated in accordance with Statistics Netherlands definition of a person with a foreign background: on the basis of the person’s country of birth and that of his/her mother and his/her father. Figures on first generation Dutch in Belgium are calculated in a similar way.

The difference is that instead of the father’s and mother’s country of birth – Belgian statistics do not include this information – the father’s and mother’s nationality at the time of the child’s birth was used. : Belgians and Dutch

Where do they speak Dutch?

There are around 23 million native speakers of Dutch worldwide. Dutch is spoken in the Netherlands, Belgium (Flanders) and Suriname. Dutch is also an official language of Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten.

Is Belgium a rich country?

Median wealth in Belgium is the highest in the world According to figures published by the bank UBS in its Global Wealth Report, median wealth in Belgium is higher than in any other country in the world. The median wealth of people in Belgium currently stands at 228,594 euro. This means that according to the calculations used by those compiling the report, half of all people in Belgium have wealth of 228,594 euro or more, while half have less than this.

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About 228,594 euros. That is the median wealth of the Belgian. This makes residents of our country, according to the annual Global Wealth report of the bank Credit Suisse, the richest in the world. But what exactly is “median wealth” and how does this differ from average wealth. The economist Geert Noels explained that “Median wealth is the point at which half of all adults have more and half less”.

The median is the middle value of a group of numbers ordered from smallest to largest. “You should not equate this with average wealth, where for example, a bunch of rich people and a large group of poor people can distort the figure.” Geert Noels says that median wealth provides the most accurate picture of prosperity among a country’s population.

  1. While Belgium is top dog when it comes to median wealth, the country is only 11 th when it comes to average wealth, where Switzerland and the United States rule the roost.
  2. Geert Noels told VRT News “The extent of the difference in Belgium’s ranking between median wealth and average wealth is something that catches the eye.

This can only lead us to conclude that the distribution of wealth in the country is not really all that concentrated”. Geert Noels told VRT News that when calculating median wealth UBS took three factors into consideration. There were savings (including money invested in shares and bonds), real estate and debts.

However, public debt that is high in Belgium was not taken into consideration. Furthermore, “Countries like Norway where a lot of things are state-owned are not really properly reflected in the list. Norwegians have about 1 million each via the state. A huge amount that increases each year. Per capita wealth there is by far the highest of any country in the world”.

Geert Noel concludes that if we take into consideration state-owned assets and debts Belgium “would not even be in the top 5”. He adds that both Switzerland and The Netherlands would be ranked above Belgium, as would Luxembourg, a country that doesn’t appear in the ranking.

Why is it called Dutch?

Dutch – The word comes from a Proto-Germanic word meaning “of the people.” It shares a root with the German word Deutsch, which has led to some confusing names. The name Germans call Germany, for example, is and the people there Deutsch, Dutch and German are related, after all, both being,

  • As mentioned in the last section, the Netherlands for a time was called Nederduytsch, meaning “of the lower people.” The use of Dutch to refer to the people of the Netherlands doesn’t occur in most languages, however.
  • English is the only language that calls the language spoken in the Netherlands “Dutch.” The Dutch themselves called their language Nederlands, and most other languages have some variation on that theme.

English has thrown around the word Dutch and its various spellings for hundreds of years. One lasting legacy of the willy nilly usage is, which is the name for a branch of the German language that developed in North America. As far as the naming conventions involving the Netherlands goes, English is the odd one out.

Is it difficult to learn Dutch?

What Language Do Belgium Speak Are fear and uncertainty keeping you from getting started with Dutch? This is a common issue for many potential Dutch-learners. They tend to wonder things like: “Is Dutch hard to learn?” and “Is learning Dutch really worth it?” If this sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’re going to answer all of your questions and clear up any doubts you may be having. At first, Dutch might seem like a very difficult language, but it’s surprisingly easy for English- and German-speakers. Dutch has even been described as a combination of the English and German languages! This makes it one of the easiest languages to learn for speakers of either language.

That said, learning Dutch will take some time and effort, no matter what your native language is. So, is Dutch hard to learn? No, it isn’t. And in this article, we’ll show you why. DutchPod101 will give you a clear overview of what things might make Dutch hard to learn, and which parts are easy-peasy for new learners. What Language Do Belgium Speak Table of Contents

  1. Is Dutch a Hard Language to Learn?
  2. Why is Dutch Easy to Learn?
  3. What are the Best Ways to Start Learning Dutch?
  4. Why is DutchPod101 Great for Learning Dutch?
  5. Summing it Up

Can a Dutch understand Flemish?

We’ve all heard of Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, Dutch and so on.but have you heard of Flemish, Sámi and Rusyn? Europe is an extremely linguistically diverse continent with so many languages to choose from. Although there are only 24 official languages in Europe, there are approximately 200 languages in use, today.

We can probably name the home language to each country, but you’d be surprised just how many hidden languages that either don’t have too many speakers or we just don’t hear enough about! Choosing only a few to talk about was really difficult, because all 200 of them have their quirks and unique aspects that make them so tempting to learn.

Alas, I’ve managed to gather 3 cool languages (or language-dialects that are up to controversy) to dive into where they are, what they look like and who speaks them! Let’s take a look! – Belgium: the land of chocolate, soccer and waffles. More importantly, the land of many languages.

Belgium is split into three languages- German, French and Dutch. But this section is titled ‘Flemish’, so where does that fit in? Flemish is native to Flanders, situated in northern Belgium and spoken by Flemings, the predominant ethnic group of the region. Outside of Flanders, the language is spoken in French Flanders and Dutch Zeelandic Flanders,

Though, Flemish isn’t exactly a language on its own. This is a low Franconian ‘ dialect of Dutch’. I say ‘dialect’ since it’s actually a dialect continuum (a chain of language varieties that are colloquially described as ‘Flemish’,) This language is rather controversial, since, despite the title of this blog post, it’s not really a language at all.

In fact, it might be the exact same language as Dutch. These two languages are mutually intelligible, so a Dutch speaker and a Flemish speaker can understand each other just fine. The differences are so close, they are comparable to American English versus British English. They both have different (and some the same) loan words, the accent and word usage is slightly different and Flemish in general has more French influence.

The most prominent differences aren’t any of these, though, but mainly within the pronunciation. For instance, Dutch’s ‘g’ sound is far more guttural than the Flemish who pronounce this letter more like a ‘ch’. The word nationaal is pronounced nasional in Flanders, more nasally such as it is in French, and natzional in the Netherlands, giving more of an English-y vibe than a French one.

  1. Although slight, if you listen close enough you’d be able to tell if the language spoken is Dutch or Flemish.
  2. Not to mention, some words are completely unrecognizable from the other language.
  3. If you’re in the Netherlands, using standard Dutch, you’d want to ask for ‘confituur’ on your toast- from the french word for jam, ‘confiture’.

Whereas, if you’re in northern Belgium, you’d want to ask for ‘jam’ on your toast. If you want to refer to your brother-in-law in the Netherlands, you’d use ‘ zwager’, but if you’re in Antwerp, you might want to say ‘schoonbroer’. What Language Do Belgium Speak The Sámi languages are a group of Uralic languages found in the northernmost part of Sweden, Norway, Finland and Russia. With an estimated amount of about 100,000 ethnic Sámi, there are ony about 30,000 speakers. Considering a wide geographic distribution, this language group is divided into parts.

North Sámi, which is spoken by two thirds of the Sámi speaking populace, is spoken predominately by northernmost Finland, Sweden and Norway. East Sámi is spoken on the Kola Peninsula of Russia and by two groups in Finland- Inari and Skolt. Some sections of the language have formed a dialect continuum, making many of them mutually intelligible amongst one another.

However, this does not count for all the dialects. In particular between Northern Sámi, Inari Sámi and Skolt Sámi, these dialects are quite difficult to understand without learning them, even if you speak another Sámi dialect. These dialects have gone through many years of almost complete isolation (thanks to geographic barriers), which has provided a sharp boundary for the dialects’ mutual intelligibility.

Nearly all Sámi speakers are bilingual, but the languages are seldom used in any education or government. However, these languages do not have uniform orthography at their disposal, nor a standardized version that could be widely used for things such as said education or government. Although with a relatively low percentage of speakers compared to these countries’ populations, many efforts have been made to preserve the language.

Many people marry into other languages and as a result, their children seldom learn the Sámi language. Despite this, there is potential for the language to continue to grow as the Sámi speaking populace surprisingly young. This is rather unique as many endangered languages’ speakers are from the older generation, not the younger.

  1. Thankfully this is one of the results of keeping the language alive, by making sure it is passed down to the younger generations.
  2. In fact, as of ‘98, every Sámi child in Norway has an individual right to learning this language as an individual subject in comprehensive school between ages 7 to 15.
  3. Although there used to be many more, in modern day, there are only nine living Sámi languages with us.
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Most of these use the Latin alphabet: What Language Do Belgium Speak What Language Do Belgium Speak Spoken by many ethnic Rusyns in a variety of central and eastern Europe, the Rusyn language can be found in Transcarpathia, travelling westward into eastern Slovakia and south-east Poland. Like Sámi languages, Rusyn is spoken by the ethnic minority of the countries it is found in.

  • And like Flemish, the categorization is of some controversy and in some cases, depends whom you’re speaking with.
  • Some American, Serbian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, and Hungarian linguists categorize Rusyn as its own distinct language.
  • Whereas, Some Ukrainian, Polish and Romanian linguistics say its a dialect of Ukrainian.

Either way, Rusyn is separated into two (geographically made) subdivisions. Carpathian (Carpatho-) Rusyn is spoken in:

the Zakarpattia Oblast of Ukraine. northeastern regions of Slovakia. southeastern regions of Poland. (The variety of Rusyn spoken in Poland is generally known as Lemko language.) northeastern regions of Hungary. northern regions of Romania (in Maramureș).

*For fluent speakers of Eastern Slovak dialects and Western Ukrainian dialects, Rusyn is generally mutually intelligible. However, for other Slavic language speakers, Carpatho-Rusyn may be quite tricky to understand. Pannonian Rusyn is spoken mainly in parts of Slovakia, Hungary and by the Pannonian Rusyns in the region of Vojvodina, Serbia and in a nearby region of Slavonia, Croatia. What Language Do Belgium Speak What Language Do Belgium Speak

Can you survive in Belgium with English?

Is English spoken in Belgium – Yes, in Belgium, English is quite commonly spoken, 💡 Although it isn’t one of the country’s three official languages, it is the fourth most popular language, So if you go to Belgium, you should be fine speaking English.

Can I work in Belgium if I only speak English?

Skip to content Which languages should you speak to find a job in Belgium ? Which languages should you speak to find a job in Belgium? Languages to find a job I have been a French teacher for about ten years now. I have met and thought expats coming from all over the world.

  • A question comes back often during courses : Which languages should I speak to find a(n) (other) job, here in Brussels ? My answer is always the same.
  • And can be challenged, of course.
  • I would say, though this is a wild guess, that 80% of the jobs in Brussels would require you to speak French or Dutch and frequently French AND Dutch,

This percentage will be higher in Flanders and even higher in Wallonia. I remember when I graduated and that I started to look for a job: I was so frustrated not to know English and Dutch enough. Being trilingual is a must. Not just an asset, as it can be in some countries.

Still. Brussels is different. I have met people speaking English and leaving in Belgium for years. (Sometimes decades!) Speaking English only is indeed possible, at work but also in your day-to-day life. Belgium being a small, northern European country split between two languages, English is quite widely accepted.

It isn’t uncommon for native French speakers to communicate with native Dutch speakers in English (or vice versa). Working in Belgium without knowing French and Dutch is possible. But not easy. And learning one of our national language will help you to settle more easily in our little country !

Is Belgium good country to live?

Belgium is a popular European destination for expats from around the world, with excellent living standards, low crime rates, good infrastructure and a rich history, architecture, and cuisine. However, moving to any overseas country carries practicalities.

Is English widely spoken in Belgium?

Is English spoken in Belgium – Yes, in Belgium, English is quite commonly spoken, 💡 Although it isn’t one of the country’s three official languages, it is the fourth most popular language, So if you go to Belgium, you should be fine speaking English.

What are Belgium’s 3 official languages?

Official Languages: French, Dutch and German. Wallon, the local variant of French, is used by 33% of population. Flemish is used by more than 60% of the population, and is spoken in the northern part of the country.

Is Belgium mostly French speaking?

French is one of the three official languages of Belgium alongside Dutch and German. It is spoken natively by around 40% of the population, primarily in the southern region of Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital Region.

Does Belgium speak French or English?

WHICH LANGUAGES MAY BE SPOKEN HERE? – In Belgium, people can speak any language they want. This language freedom is embedded in the Constitution. It implies that you can decide yourself which language you use in your household, among friends, in the media, and in the cultural, economic, commercial and religious fields.

Like any other country, Belgium also has official languages. These are Dutch, French and German. These three languages are spoken in areas that are more or less delineated. Mid-last century, language areas were delineated on the basis of language use. The prevailing language spoken in a specific area also became the language of administration for that area.

Belgium is composed of four language areas: the Dutch language area, the French language area, the German language area (9 municipalities in the east of Belgium) and the bilingual Brussels-Capital area. This subdivision into language areas and official languages does by no means detract from the language freedom.

  • The use of one (or several) of these official languages is compulsory in a limited number of situations, especially in contacts with the authorities.
  • Sometimes this obligation only applies to the official body, other times to the citizens as well.
  • The Germanic-Latin language border probably came into being during the fifth century.

During this period the Roman Empire disintegrated into chaos, and large numbers of German Franks settled in our region. At that time, it was inhabited by the Gauls and Celts, both of whom had assimilated Roman culture. The north was mainly inhabited by the German Franks, who in the south were in the minority.